January 4, 2018
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. We hope you were all safe and spent your holidays with good friends and family. Our holiday was spent sick, but working. We didn't really get anything good for Christmas. Rather than waiting to get each other thing we want, we just get each other what we want throughout the year. Those gifts usually end up being more climbing gear even though we have way more than we use or need.
I was looking at this years holiday schedule for possible events and here are the nationally recognized holidays: 2018 Federally Recognized Holiday Schedule . If you have a preferred holiday to meet, let me know and we'll try to arrange something.
The next Federal holiday is MLK Day in just under two weeks on Monday the 15th. Although a Federal Holiday, it is one of the lessor holidays that is often not recognized with a day off. If you have that day off and feel like getting out, send me an email. If enough people show interest, we may arrange a day out.
December 14, 2017
Thanks to all who attended our rescheduled 5th year anniversary event. The picture gallery can be found at the other end of that link. For most, this was a return to familiar mines, but for others this was their first time underground. We've been underground countless times. So much that a mine has to have some remarkable features to keep my attention. I miss that feeling of discovery some of you experienced that day. In that sense, I was a bit envious.
Hard to believe five years has already passed. When I started this site, my intention was to just park pictures and share information I had difficulty locating with others. I never intended the site to be so interactive or meet any of you. Not even sure how that first trip came about, but I'm so glad this has become a regular thing. Many of you have become genuine friends. Life is better with good friends and great adventures. We'll see you soon.
November 30, 2016
If you've attended a previous event and have not received an email from me recently, have a look at your spam folders. I sent out bulk email and some email clients consider them spam. We have an invitation only event coming up soon. If you've attended a previous event, would like to join us for another, and have not received an email invitation, please send me an email for more information.
November 20, 2017
Sorry it's been so long since the last update. Honestly, we've been so busy with the move I completely forgot to even offer a lame excuse. Here's what's been going on since we last spoke. We did get into the house, but it's proven to be much more work than anticipated.
I knew the house needed work, but the way it was received left us with a never ending to-do list. Not even joking, the interior has 10 shades of paint colors. Some can probably be covered with one coat of high quality paint, but there is plenty that will need to be primed before painting. There's so much to do that we're seeing very little progress. At this point, I'm seriously thinking of fire as an option.
Sorry about the lack of events. We're going to try to make it up soon, but we're not going to make it a big production like before. This site has been around for five years. If you've ever attended an event in those five years, please send me an email. We are planning something very soon. This event will only be for those who have previously attended. We'll hold an open invitation event sometime early next year.
Many of you have been in regular contact over the years. I'll send email invitations to those. If you have not received an email within the next day or two and have attended a previous event, please send an email for event details.
October 26, 2017
This home buying process is almost finished. We own the house, but the previous owners have yet to leave. We expect to begin the move early next week. The house does need a lot of personalization before we can settle in, but at least we are making progress. Someone ask me about the delays when we all meet again. Lots of stories to tell. I'm also in need of floor tiling. Does anyone here do that or know someone who does?
The scheduled events section on the main page has been changed. It says to email if you are interested in events. We enjoy getting together as a group, but we're finding that organizing these events is a huge pain in the ass. We'll still have group events, but I probably won't be announcing them anymore. If you want to attend, occasionally ask.
October 12, 2017
My apologies for cancelling last weeks event. Because of the shootings, all time off was rescinded. I posted and notified most by email within minutes of the cancellation. The very next morning, work decided they had everything covered and returned us to regular work schedules. Rather than try to regroup everyone after just cancelling the event, we decided to just leave it cancelled.
I have to apologize, yet again, for the lack of quality site updates. As mentioned previously, we are in the process of buying another home and it's proving more difficult and complicated than anticipated. We're trying to keep the process moving forward and keeping ourselves as available to the process as possible. Keeping ourselves available means we have to stay within cell phone range to address changes immediately. We've barely been out in months and being tethered to a phone is making me irritable.
Hopefully, we can reschedule this event soon, but with the major holidays fast upon us, it's not looking good for an event before the end of the year. If we do, it will likely be short notice, so check the main page for announcements when you can.
October 2, 2017
Because of recent events, all time off has been rescinded and our 5 Year Anniversary event scheduled for October 7, 2017 has been cancelled. These scheduling conflicts cannot be avoided. I do apologize for any inconvenience this will or may cause any of you.
Emails have been sent to all I've had recent contact with, but I may have missed some. If you have contact with others who were interested in attending this event, please contact them to make sure they are aware of this cancellation. We appreciate your understanding and hope to reschedule this event in the near future.
September 21, 2017
I can hardly wait until this home buying process is over. It sucks to be living this, but we'll have a good story to tell you all later. As I've mentioned over the last few updates, this home buying process and move has been keeping me from updating the site. Still, people have been sending angry emails about the lack of updates. One even threatened to take his business elsewhere which is odd since this site sells nothing and never has. I appreciate all who visit this site, but it's certainly not the only site online. This site has been online for five years. It's so bad if we occasionally miss a weekly update.
The weather is tolerable and hopefully we'll settle into our new home soon, so fresh updates should be along shortly. In the meantime, here's another selection from the previous forum about "Unexplained". That's how it began, but as with all of our forum topics, everyone posted with the attention spans of toddlers.
Also, coming soon is another field event. This coming October 7, 2017, we'll be headed south and getting underground again. Not sure how many will attend. Since much of our day will be spent underground, I'm kind of hoping for a smaller group, but all are welcome. Details can be found through this link. It was recently updated, so please make sure you read and review it all.
September 7, 2017
We are still in the process of relocating. Buying a new home isn't as fun as I thought it would be. We haven't been in the mountains for a while so no good outdoor updates. In the meantime, I found another entertaining thread from the old site forum.
August 31, 2017
Trying to purchase a new home and move. A little busy at the moment.
August 24, 2017
We still have our 5 year anniversary event scheduled for October 7, 2017. Details of this event are being finalized. Because this is an anniversary event, we'll be revisiting some of our previous stops and a few new ones along the way. Much of the day will be spent underground, so there will be age and pet restrictions.
Details of the event may change, but the current details can be found here.
August 17, 2017
New images have been added to the Sultan Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We had no real reason to be there. It's just been a while since we got underground and that's where we ended up. The interior hasn't changed much, but the surface seems to change a lot every year. The lower trail that used to lead up to the main mine portal is no longer there. You can't even tell there was once a trail there. Expect to hike a little longer.
We've also noticed people have been hunting coyote in the area. I know it's legal and I'm not going to judge anyone for hunting. I've been hunting a few times, but it's not something I could enjoy and get into. Except for hog hunting. Not sure why that's acceptable to me. If hunting coyote is your thing, it's proper etiquette to remove or properly dispose of your kills. Leaving them stacked on display on the only access trail is kind of an asshole thing to do.
August 10, 2017
A few have been asking about the status of our repeater project. It's not at its permanent location yet, but it is operational. We've had a few issues that are taking longer than anticipated to resolve, but we'd rather discover and troubleshoot these issues while it's still easily accessed. Once it goes to its remote location, we hope to only access it once every few years to replace the battery. The current issue is with the charging system, but the company supplying the solar system components is sending replacement parts.
Some have been asking for the repeater frequency. I think I need to offer a little more clarity. As stated from first mention of this project, building this radio repeater and solar charging system would not be cheap. Our initial completion estimates were in the $500 dollar range. We are currently just under triple of that estimate. Many are asking, but very few have contributed to this build and only those who contribute will have access to this repeater. Details about the repeater project are here.
This is separate from the group simplex (radio to radio) frequency. That frequency has remained the same, but to filter out local radio traffic, we've added a new tone. These are not private frequencies. Others will still be able to hear us, but with the tone, we won't be able to hear them.
If anyone is interested, I still have one mobile radio available for sale.
August 4, 2017
The recently announced event scheduled for August 5, 2017 has been cancelled. I'm not feeling up for it. If more confirmed, I would go anyway, but with so few who confirmed it's probably best that we wait for a larger group.
August 3, 2017
A few of us are meeting on Saturday night to wander the desert and kick around some rocks. Because of the short notice and work schedules, we're not expecting many, but we're still looking forward to getting out and doing something outdoors. We'll be meeting at our usual spot. If you'd rather just meet on location, that's fine too, but please send me an email that you'll be attending. We don't want to risk leaving anyone out there overnight. Details are here.
If I previously programmed your handheld radios, make sure you bring all of them for reprogramming.
July 27, 2017
Does anyone feel like getting out next Saturday? That would be August 5th. It's still too hot to enjoy anything during the day, but a night event might be fun. We call these night events "fluorescent mineral hunts", but mostly we just walk around in the dark and socialize. If this is something that would interest any of you, send me an email. Sorry about the short notice. Details are here.
July 20, 2017
New images have been added to the Chiquita Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This is one of the mines we visit at least once a year. Not because there is so much to see, but because it's usually on the way to somewhere else. Our most recent visit was with the purpose of verifying its identify from historic photos.
July 13, 2017
Sorry this update is coming late. We have a lot going on at the moment. I may share some of these distractions at a later date.
New to the Guest Writer section is the next series installment by Blake where he discusses triggers. One of Blake's many triggers is when someone assumes his gender. That makes him angry and sad. It's 2017. Blake can be whatever he wants to be.
July 6, 2017
Hopefully, everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day. Until everyone in our neighborhood started with the fireworks, ours was fairly quiet. I enjoy fireworks for the first few minutes, then I'm over it and just want it quiet again. Around 9:30, all was silent and I could finally get some rest. Then our neighbors confused Independence Day with New Years Eve and the shelling started up again at midnight.
I'm only in my 40's. I really shouldn't be this fussy. It's probably because I'm not feeling well. Which leads me to last weeks announcement. That invitation only underground event is indefinitely on hold. I don't think anyone wants to climb in this heat and for the safety of others, I should probably wait until I'm feeling closer to 100%.
So, at this time, we have no group events scheduled until October 7. As always, if any of you have anything planned and want to invite others, just send me an email and I'll make an announcement.
June 29, 2017
Sorry for missing some updates. As mentioned in previous posts, we tend to slow things down in the summer to avoid the heat. We've also just returned from traveling out of state. Hopefully, we'll have some useful updates and information for you soon.
We may be planning an underground venture soon that will require rope access. Rope will only be used for safety, so rope skills will not be needed, but climbing will be involved. Space will be limited for this event and everyone will need to take an accurate account of personal physical fitness.
Because of the limited space, this may be an invitation only event. I may ask a few with previous experience to join and help, but if you've been on rope with us in the past, you will likely not receive an invitation to this event to make room for those who have not.
June 8, 2017
The Potosi repeater now appears to be offline. If I programmed your handheld radios, the Potosi repeater was channel 16 for you. Click through for alternative repeater information.
Our private group repeater is functional and has been operating for almost a month now. Currently, range is limited. Repeaters work best with differences in elevation. Las Vegas is shaped like a bowl. The repeater is currently operating from the bottom of the bowl. From the outskirts of town, in higher elevation, the reach and clarity is great. If you're close to the same elevation as the repeater, range is around or less than 5 miles.
When the repeater is moved to higher elevation, we should have coverage of the entire valley and well into the mountains. Getting 100 pounds of equipment to elevation will not be easy. We missed the best window of opportunity and may wait until cooler weather arrives to attempt placement.
We haven't been getting underground much lately, but we are still getting out. We've been shooting once or twice a week with various Veterans groups. Mostly for recreation, but also for therapeutic reasons. I've always enjoyed shooting, but being around these guys has shown me how little I know. Long time friend of the site, Blake, took the time to share his thoughts on shooting. I'm sure some of you will disagree with his methods, but it's difficult to argue with his results.
June 1, 2017
What was the deal with so many people bringing sandwiches to a cookout? For mine exploration events everyone is responsible for their own meals, but cookouts are potluck events. Like an outdoor buffet. Everyone brings something for the food table so the food selection grows. In the future, just know that the food on the tables is for everyone to share.
It's about to get much hotter and we aren't as active in the mountains. We still get out, but since it's so uncomfortable, we don't often invite others to share in our misery. We'll also be traveling some this summer and will be mostly unavailable.
We do have the sites 5 year anniversary coming up on Saturday October 7 . Ideas have been floated about another cookout or an exploration event. The weather will be much more tolerable in October, so we may even do both. We have plenty of time to think about it. If you have any ideas, please send me an email.
I just received two new reports of mine closures in the Goodsprings area, but the two didn't have GPS and were unable to describe the area well enough to identify. If you see any new closures or crews working, please let me know.
May 25, 2017
Last call notice for our Memorial Day Cookout. We won't be meeting and heading to the location as a group. Detailed directions including a map with coordinates and mileage is on the event page. If you'd like to attend, please don't just show up. Send me an email and let me know what you'll be bringing. There's a list on the events page of things that are still needed. Additionally, this is a potluck cookout. What you bring should be proportionate to the amount of people you'll be bringing. We are currently expecting 15-20 people.
In case you missed the previous announcements, we've added a privacy tone to our group radio frequency. If you'd like to have your radios programmed before the event, we still have time to meet up. I also still have a couple mobile mounted radios for sale if you'd like something with a more reliable range. If you're interested and attending the cookout, send me an email reminder to bring them.
Sorry about the weak updates. We haven't really done anything fun lately.
May 11, 2017
I think this is the first time a site update has fallen on my wife's birthday. Happy birthday to my beautiful wife who turns 29 again! We don't really do much for birthdays and Christmas. Rather than wait a couple times a year, we just get each other things we want throughout the year. It usually ends up being climbing gear that I've lost over the years which is quite a bit. I was just laying everything out on the driveway to see what we have and what we need. Either my memory is getting far worse or we need to find better friends.
A new piece has been added to the Random Articles and Accounts section. I was going through an old hard drive and came across a large folder of threads saved from the old site forum. For those who aren't aware, this site used to have an active forum until we were forced to switch to software that is not forum compatible. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I know it made me a little less productive. I had a great time reading through those archives and wanted to share one of the more memorable conversations with you. Frankenthread.
Still having a cookout on Memorial Day Monday. Details are in the link.
May 4, 2017
Been busier than usual this week and don't really have an update for you. My apologies for the delays in the repeater project. We're at a stand-still in some aspects of the build, but I believe we're seeing progress in others. Still no time table, but it definitely will not be ready by the Memorial Day Cookout. Speaking of which, only three have confirmed for that event. The last time we had a cookout, only four confirmed and over 20 showed up.
We'll be making some changes to our common group simplex (radio to radio) frequency. There's a local church organization that has mostly taken over the GMRS band. There are 8 primary GMRS frequencies and an additional 8 GMRS shared with FRS frequencies. This church group has around 30 local locations and you'll hear them on any of the 16 available frequencies.
It's not just them. I regularly hear business operations on these frequencies all over town, but they are primarily using the low output radios you can buy off the shelf at Walmart, Best Buy, and Fry's. Drive a block away and you're already out of range. This church group is programming in higher power radios for use on GMRS frequencies that can reach for miles. They are using call signs and are in compliance with regulations unless someone views church use as business use. Their business is none of ours, so to avoid cross talk, we'll make a minor change.
Our group simplex frequency will remain the same, but we'll be adding a tone so we won't have to hear others on the same frequency. This is a specific sub-audible tone that is sent with your transmission. A receiving radio within our group searches for that sub-audible tone. If the tones match, your audio comes through the receiving radio. If the tones don't match, you won't hear the transmitting radio. As of today, your radios will still work, but you won't be able to communicate with others who have already had this tone change. That means everyone.
April 27, 2017
The previously mentioned radios are in and programmed, but we only have two left. These are high powered, commercial quality, radios requiring a GMRS license to transmit. There is a fee for this class of license, but no test. It also covers your entire immediate family. We would prefer these radios to stay within our group network. If you've attended a few group events, that includes you. Details about these radios for sale can be found here.
Our event to Vanderbilt, CA was this past Sunday and the gallery has been added to the Completed Events section. I was looking forward to this event for a while, but I wasn't feeling well and hope my mood didn't set the tone for the day. It may not have been as obvious, but I did enjoy seeing everyone again.
Between now and unbearable summer, we have one more planned event on Memorial Day. May 29, 2017. Details for that event have been updated. This will be a cookout event, so numbers are important. Please, RSVP with a list of what you'll be bringing.
April 20, 2017
Last call for Vanderbilt this coming Sunday the 23rd! Weather is expected to be clear in the high 80's. Bring your sunscreen and dress light. If you haven't already confirmed your attendance, please do so now. I don't think we'll ever get to the point where we start turning away people who didn't previously confirm, but as a courtesy, it would be greatly appreciated. A lot of effort and preparation you don't see goes into these events. These events are always free and we only ask two things of you: Confirm your attendance in advance and sign a liability waiver.
Also this weekend, Saturday the 22nd and Sunday the 23rd, is the Gold Prospectors Association of America show at South Point Hotel and Casino. There, you'll find prospecting supplies and equipment for the casual gold and rock hound to the advanced hobbyist and small scale commercial miner. For the mineral collectors, there are usually 2 or 3 mineral booths. Entry tickets are $5 presale online or $10 at the gate. If you choose to go, maybe go on Saturday. Don't forget we're going to Vanderbilt on Sunday.
I don't have any repeater news, but I have some related information. I may have an opportunity to buy some used Motorola mobile radios for your vehicles. It's not a done deal yet, but I've already posted some information on the For Sale page.
If you plan on traveling in the Lovell Canyon Rd. area, please use caution and travel in groups. We've recently witnessed suspicious activity that might suggest another illegal growing operation. I don't think it's a secret that it happens in our mountains. A few large grow operations have been interrupted over the last few years and various people have told us they've come across single plants here and there. I don't think someone tending a single plant for personal use will be a significant threat. Someone growing a large crop just might and you can't tell the difference between the two. Unless someone appears to need assistance, we tend to keep our distance from others. No real point to this. Just use caution.
April 13, 2017
Information has been updated for upcoming events. Our event to Vanderbilt is coming up quickly and only three people have confirmed. There seems to be a pattern with this group. The same three people confirm attendance and twenty people show up. Click this link and confirm by email. It takes a few seconds to type "I'm in.".
A location for our Memorial Day cookout has been found. Details are in the link. If you'll be attending, you'll need to bring a food item. You have over a month to think about it. A few pictures of the site have been added to the details page, but the site is way more scenic than what we captured.
I thought we were ahead of schedule with the repeater project, but now it seems were are behind schedule. All of the major components are in, but we have yet to build a frame and assemble the charging system. It's because of these potential delays that I asked some of you to withhold funds until the project is further along.
Some may be wondering, "What funds?". Those details have been on the repeater page since the idea was first mentioned. A battery operated and solar charged repeater system isn't cheap and we are well over the initial budget. We expected to incur the bulk of the cost, but we're certainly not going to pay it all. As was stated since the beginning, only those who have contributed to the build of this repeater project will have access.
Hopefully, we'll have a complete working system within the next couple of weeks. If we can get the frame built soon, we'll have it at ground level to test for another week or two. From there, it goes up to its final destination at elevation.
April 6, 2017
Another completed event is out of the way. This event took us to the west side of Goodsprings, Nevada to search for fluorescent minerals. I don't think we were in a good spot to find fluorescents. Lots of iron, but not a lot of color. Although I am happy to wander the mountains with a flashlight, others may take their collections more seriously. If anyone knows of better nearby spots for future night events, please let me know.
Our next scheduled event is coming up quickly on the 23rd of this month. Although this event will be almost entirely on the surface, this is the event I've looked forward to the most. I do enjoy getting underground, but for group events, I most enjoy the stops for the socializing. For that reason, of all our completed events, our trip to Southern Ivanpah is my personal favorite. I have a strong feeling this upcoming event with surpass that as my new favorite. This is the event you don't want to miss. If you haven't already, please reserve your spot by email: John@VegasUnderworld.com
Our repeater project is nearing completion. All parts are in and we've begun final assembly of the charging system. Next phase is final testing. We want the entire system to be tested for at least a couple weeks at ground level. Once we're sure everything is working well, it'll move to its elevation destination. This destination may move once or twice before we settle on a final location for best coverage.
I've asked a few to withhold their share of funds until this project nears completion. We're getting close, but I think we are still a few weeks away from a completed system. If you haven't already applied for and received your GMRS license, you may want to begin that process. This is a private repeater, but FCC regulations will still apply.
March 23, 2017
Looks like our event schedule is filled for the year. New and updated information has been added to all events, so please review to make sure you have the latest information.
Our repeater project is nearing completion. The system is built and we are currently testing for power requirements. This is primarily a group safety repeater, but can be used for your own entertainment in and around town. If being involved in this project interests you, please read for further details.
Our night mineral hunt is scheduled for Friday the 31st of this month. Personally, I have no idea what I'm looking for, so I'm just going to hang out with good people. There are a handful that have emailed interest in attending this event, but I don't think I have an accurate account of numbers.
A new event date has been set for Sunday, April 23, 2017. The intended destination is Vanderbilt, CA. For reference, it's south of Nipton, CA. Other than the destination and date, no further details are available.
We've been considering Vanderbilt as an event destination for a while now, but our last few events have been on national holiday Mondays. If you've ever tried to head south on I-15 the last day of a three day weekend, you'll know the problem. By 9:00 AM, traffic on I-15 is already backed up north of the Jean exit. If we left earlier at 8:00 AM, we'd still get stuck in traffic well before the Primm exit. If we left even earlier at 7:00 AM, there's a good chance we'll encounter traffic before our exit another 10 miles south of Primm.
If anyone is interested, the Gold Prospectors show will be at South Point Hotel the same weekend as our Vanderbilt event on April 22 and 23. It's a good time to try and buy the latest field equipment.
We'll be away for a while during the summer months. We often avoid the desert in those triple digits anyway, but if any of you would like to invite others for your days out, feel free to send me the info so I can get it posted.
Beyond that, we have the VegasUnderworld 5 year anniversary coming this October. No further details are available for that event either, but it's a cookout. You people know how those work.
Weather will be cooler by then, so I'm sure we can fit an event or two more into 2017. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, feel free to send me an email.
March 16, 2017
Another new article by Russ is in the Guest Writers section of the site. This article covers most of the larger mines Southeast of Goodsprings, NV. We've been to most of the base camps of those larger mines, but have yet to make the hike up to them. The longer we wait, the less likely we are to ever reach them, so we are grateful that Russ was able to capture and detail them for everyone.
We have a very short list of attendees for the night event on the 31st. I'm not sure if what I have is the real list or if people will just show up like they do for most events thinking there will always be room. More so than previous events, I feel a count is more important because this is a night event and we won't be arriving as a group. It's more important because I don't want to chance leaving anyone out there overnight, so if you plan on going to this event, please send me an email to confirm. If you've previously confirmed, but can't make it, please send me an email to adjust the count. It only takes a moment to send an email.
March 9, 2017
If you plan on attending the evening event in a few weeks on March, 31, 2017, please send me an email. Details are in the links provided. This will be an evening event and may add new challenges to the less experienced navigators. New details about this event have been added to the event page. Please, review for the latest information.
Update on the group repeater: The repeater is mostly complete and just beginning test phases. We'll be collecting data during this test phase period to determine power requirements. This repeater project is well over budget and, as mentioned previously, we will not incur all of these costs on our own. Even if we're friends, to be fair, only those who have contributed comparable funds, labor, and/or supplies towards completion of this project will be granted access.
March 2, 2017
We do have another event scheduled at the end of this month, March 31, 2017. This evening mineral hunt will be held west of Goodsprings in one of the few areas primarily mined for gold. We will not be traveling to the location as a group. Details are in the link.
About a month ago, we made an announcement that the Potosi Mountain GMRS repeater will be coming down soon. Although we have not been given a date, we do expect this to happen soon. We suggested an idea that we all pool our resources together to operate our own repeater for entertainment and safety. Unfortunately, very few of you expressed interest.
Despite this lack of enthusiasm, we have decided to move forward with this project. We are beyond the research phase and will be entering into the build and tuning phase as parts are received. Details are here.
A new article has been added to our Random Articles and Accounts section. Someone recently sent an email about something captured in one of our gallery images. Since others have been wondering over the years, I felt it now a good time to discuss Paranormal Activity.
February 23, 2017
Our event to Tecopa, California was held recently on President's Day. Images from that day are available in the links. Another great day with great people.
You may have noticed a couple new announcements on the front page. On March 31, 2017 we'll be meeting up for another night mineral hunt, so dust off your UV lights. If you don't already have one, you'll have plenty of time to research and get one. The more brilliant minerals are only visible under a short wave UV light, so start your research there.
A destination hasn't been chosen yet, but it will likely be a home game somewhere around Goodsprings. Since most probably work Fridays, we'll just give coordinates and let people arrive at their own pace instead of having to rush out of work and through dinner.
We also have an event scheduled on Memorial Day Monday. May 29, 2017. No destination has been selected for that event either. If you'd like to suggest a destination, feel free to send an email.
After that, we have yet another scheduled event on Saturday, October 7, 2017. That week, five years ago, VegasUnderworld.com went live and we'll be celebrating with another cookout event. A destination has not been selected. Anyone who has ever attended a VegasUnderworld event is invited.
I know there's a long 5 months between events, but we usually slow things down during those triple digit months and use that time to get caught up on personal time. I'm sure we'll find something to do during that period. If anyone wants to host anything during those months, feel free to let me know so I can post it up for you.
February 16, 2017
Attendance for our trip scheduled for Presidents Day Monday, February 20, 2017 is at full capacity and is now a closed event. No new participation requests will be accepted. Confirmation emails have been sent to those who previously reserved. If you did not receive a confirmation email and feel you should have, please send me another email with the date you emailed your original participation intent. I apologize if you wanted to go and missed this opportunity, but regular announcements to reserve a spot were made often.
If you previously reserved a position for this event, please, read and review the Event Safety and Waivers page. After our last event, I heard that someone complained to others about something that was clear and specific within those pages. If everyone would take a few moments to understand what is expected of all of us, it would save everyone some confusion and hurt feelings.
Anyone in need of some climbing rope? In the past, I've said to never purchase a used climbing rope unless you know and really trust the seller. If you've ever been to one of our group events, I think trust between us is understood since you're trusting us with your lives. While sorting through and cleaning our garage, I distracted myself by playing with some climbing gear. I have an 11.4mm (7/16") x 150 foot rope that someone else could probably use. I have plenty at the moment and will likely never use that one.
This is the exact rope model for sale at REI: BlueWater Assaultline Static Rope. Perfectly fine and capable rope. It's never been used. Weight has never been applied to it. I've never even tied a knot into it. All I've done to it was unroll it after purchase and rerolled the way I like it. Other than that, it's been sitting in a box.
What I didn't think through was the color. Tactical black seemed like a good idea at the time. You all know where I'd be using the rope. In hindsight, black rope in a dark mine probably wasn't the smartest impulse buy and wasn't a good idea. If anyone is in need of a static climbing rope and can overlook the color, it's a great buy at $100.
February 9, 2017
As previously announced, we have a new site section, "Guest Contributions", which will be devoted solely to viewer submissions. Long time friend of the site, Russ, opens this section with his accounts of the Lucy Grey Mine as it was in the mid and late 90's. Far different than we've experienced, those were days when the underground workings were still open and you could drive to the upper work deck.
Without exception, everyone we've met through this group has a story to tell or pictures they've taken of their own adventures. Even if your accounts are of places already on the site, there's a good chance we didn't see it the same way. Whether you just want to share some pictures or have a story to tell, feel free to submit your experiences for others to enjoy.
February 2, 2017
In case you missed the announcement on the main page, we've received important information about our most commonly used mountain repeater. Sometime in the next month or two, this repeater will become inactive. We still have other emergency communication options available to us, but with less coverage of our most frequented areas. We're considering repeater ownership options. Click through the link for more information.
I did a little housekeeping with the site. Mostly cosmetic and continuity issues, but there's also a new section titled "Guest Writers". This is something I've been wanting to add since the sites inception. As the section title states, this would be a section for others to submit their accounts and adventures.
We've only been in Vegas for under a decade. Many of our mines have been closed and made "safe" well before we arrived. There are some among us that have lived here most of their adult lives and have far greater experiences than us. Some of those experiences are of times when our local history was still unaltered.
We hope to begin this new series and section next week with a submission by Russ, one of our groups Charter Members. If you have stories or images of your adventures to share, feel free to submit them. In fact, please do. Hopefully, there will be other submissions soon to come.
Our next group event is in just a few weeks. I've only received confirmation from a few of you. If you plan on joining us for this event, please read through the event details and confirm your attendance by email.
January 26, 2017
Our group event to Devil Peak and Little Devil Peak was this past weekend. New images of that and previous events can be found in the Completed Field Events section. Thanks to all the group regulars and the many new explorers who chose to join us. As always, we had a great time meeting with you.
We are in the planning stages of our next event being held on Presidents Day Monday. February 20, 2017. This event will have us underground for several hours and include a scenic drive home along Excelsior Mine Road. Space will be limited. Since many in this town are not given Presidents Day off, I don't think we'll need to cap this event, but as the confirmed numbers grow there may be a cutoff.
I know it's way too far in advance for most to make any commitments, but the first week of October way back in 2012 VegasUnderworld.com went live. We plan on celebrating this 5 year anniversary with another cookout somewhere in the mountains on Saturday October 7, 2017. This will be another Invitation Only event, but we'll further simplify the invitation process. If you've ever been to a VegasUnderworld event, consider yourself invited. If you've never been to an event, there will be more before the cookout in October. We have a lot of time to settle the details.
After legal counsel, there will be some minor changes for future events. In the past, there has been a vehicle registry sheet, but that was mostly for a head count and so I can refer to it and call out drivers by name if needed. For all future events, there will be a sign-in sheet that is an agreement to our event Safety and Waivers.
This information should come as no surprise to anyone since it's at the top of every page on this site and I make constant mention of it leading up to events. At each event announcement page, it was always said that attendance was an agreement of those terms, so everyone has already been agreeing. The only thing that will change is there will be a sign in sheet for that same agreement. Copies of those terms are always available on the site and printed copies are always available on event days. These agreements are not only for our legal protection, but for the protection of all in attendance.
Other than that, the only thing that will change is our attendee age limit which will be enforced and increased to 14 years of age. Children below age 14 are still welcome to join us for these events, but will need to stay on the surface at all times. No exceptions.
January 19, 2017
I've already received a few emails from some wanting to join us for this weekends event. I'm really sorry, but as was already mentioned, we are beyond capacity for these mines.
President's Day Monday. February 20, 2017 is our next scheduled event. Because that event will likely explore beyond single level, that event will be for the Advanced Group only. Expect a capacity cap for that event.
Those who have confirmed for this weekends event, please check your event links before meeting to receive the latest information. Not much more to say. We're on vacation. See you all soon.
January 15, 2017
All available space for our January 21, 2017 tour has been filled. This is now a closed event. Those who have previously confirmed were sent an email confirmation. If you feel you have previously confirmed and did not receive an email, send me a reminder with the date you confirmed by email.
I apologize to those who showed interest after the event closure, but we've been saying for a while now that trail space is limited. If you have confirmed and are unable to commit, please let me know so that we may offer that space to someone else. Any new available space will be offered to those in the order of interest.
January 12, 2017
Over the past few months I've received a few emails from some new to the group asking about bringing small children to group events. One chain of emails was from a parent that took the age exclusion limit personally as if I were directing the rule at her children. She felt that she should be able to do whatever she wanted with her children and took the exclusion as an insult to her parenting skills. I've never personally met her or her children.
Here is the direct quote regarding the age limitation from the "Safety and Waivers" link which can be found at the top of every page on this site:
"Small children and pets: Well behaved children and pets are encouraged to attend surface events. Please, maintain control of your children and pets at all times. If there is an underground portion of the event, children under age 12 and pets must remain above ground. Pets should be leashed during underground exploration so they will not follow others below ground. "
The age limitation is not new. There has always been an attendee minimum age for underground participation. In the past, some have asked and we've allowed for some flexibility on a case by case basis. Other times some just brought children assuming it was acceptable. Honestly, I've received more complaints that children have attended these events than I've received that children are not allowed.
Personally, I've felt that small children in and around mines are a distraction and a potential safety hazard, but exceptions were made in the past which is the likely source of any confusion. To be fair to all, we've always had a minimum age limit rule of 12 and we will now be enforcing it without exceptions. If exceptions were granted to you for previous events, assume those exceptions have been revoked. This minimum age of 12 rule enforcement begins with our upcoming January 21, 2017 event. After that event, the minimum age limit will be raised to 14 and will continue in perpetuity.
This enforcement and change of current age restrictions is not a reflection or judgement of anyone's parenting skills or anyone's specific children. This rule enforcement is in fairness to all without exceptions and for the enjoyment of the majority of others. I don't remember seeing any children in the group event galleries in over 10 months, so this age enforcement will not affect any group regulars.
To those with children, nobody is saying you can't take your own children underground. We're just saying you can't take them underground at or during a VegasUnderworld event. Group attendance and participation is voluntary. You are not required to attend or participate in any free event.
Please, read the event Safety and Waivers. Understand and adhere to them to avoid uncomfortable conversations on event day.
January 5, 2017
Happy New Year, everyone! I spent most of my New Year's Eve waiting to get off the Strip and was asleep by 10:00. I can't remember the last time I wanted to stay up to greet the new year. It's one of those holidays that becomes just another day the older you get. While waiting I was scanning through frequencies on the amateur radio and found some open microphones at nearby music events and was able to hear the live music and backstage interactions. I could probably hear it better than those in the crowded venues.
I think most already know that site updates usually show where we've been that week, but we do keep a catalog of images in reserve in the event we don't get out. I haven't been feeling well lately and took some time off, so this is one of the weeks we'll be dipping into the image reserve.
New images have been added to the Noonday Mine gallery in the Tecopa, CA directory. With today's update, there are over 75 images in that gallery and there is still so much more to see. This is one of the largest mine systems within day trip time from Vegas and we have yet to complete a survey.
We are already planning a return to Tecopa as our next group event. We aren't going to switch venues multiple times and stress over a new location. A return trip to Tecopa is settled. Possibly President's Day Monday, February 20, 2017.
December 29, 2016
I trust everyone had a Merry Christmas. It's not usually a holiday we make a big deal of, but it is a busy day for us. If we're not working, we're making our rounds visiting others who celebrate the day. Some of these people are only seen that day throughout the year, so the time spent catching up is always enjoyable and appreciated.
I was just updating my radio call sign list and I currently have about 15 licensed radio operators listed. There are probably about a dozen more of you who own radios and are not licensed. In a true emergency, anyone is allowed to use any form of communications, licensed or not. Since I am almost always near a radio and often serve as backup for others, it might be a good idea if those who own radios email me your emergency contact information.
If you are in an emergency situation, you may only have a moment to relay information. In that situation, try to give your name, your emergency, and your location. I need to know who should receive that information and it's best to have it in advance. If you have non-emergency messages you'd like relayed, I don't mind passing those along either.
New images have been added to the Hoodoo Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. It looks the same as it did when we visited last year, but recent rains have changed the trails into washes. Still passable, but less comfortable.
We were in the area again repairing trails in advance of our January 21, 2017 group event. Thanks again to Russ and Bob for using their time off to help with those repairs. Because of their efforts, I think the trail is ready. If you joined us for the Veterans Day cookout, that trail was much worse and you'll have no issues completing the route in 2WD.
December 22, 2016
New images have been added to the Milford Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We were in the area while scouting out a route for our next event. It's been a while since we gave it a good look and found a way in, but were running short on time and will have to return for the upper and lower levels.
We thought we finally confirmed a tour route that will visit and explore mines around Devil Peak and Little Devil Peak. No matter the conditions, our destination will not change again, but it started raining last night ans hasn't stopped. Our route will take us in and through washes and was rough, but passable just a few days ago. This amount of rain will likely have changed trail conditions drastically. Looks like we'll have to revisit, inspect and repair trails again.
We will be going underground for this event. Several people have already asked questions that have been answered in the links provided, but we'll cover a few topics here.
Since a good portion of this event will be underground, you'll need to bring your own basic equipment kit which includes: helmet, gloves, dust mask, flashlight x3. We'll be stopping during the event for lunch which will also not be provided, so please pack your own lunch, snacks, and drinks.
Transportation is not provided. This trail is more technical than previous areas we've visited. Cars will not be able to complete this route at any speed. A high ground clearance vehicle is needed. Some drivers may want to use 4 wheel drive coming out of washes, but with careful selection of lines will not be needed.
This event will have children and pet restrictions. Children and pets are welcome to attend, but we do request that children under 12 remain on the surface. Pets should also remain on the surface and leashed.
All of this information is always in the Safety and Waivers link at the top of every page. Please, have a look and review what is expected of all of us to maintain a high safety standard and to avoid any awkward conversations. One guy was very upset that I do not provide equipment, meals and transportation for these events.
I'm sorry some feel they aren't getting enough out of this free site and events. VegasUnderworld is not a business and sells nothing. I don't know what goes on in some peoples heads to make them think others should provide for them. I don't owe anyone a vehicle or a sandwich.
December 15, 2016
Sorry to do this again, but our event on January 21st that was switched from somewhere to somewhere else has been switched again. We ran our usual pre-event mine and trail inspection of Excelsior Mine Road on Monday and it won't work for a group event.
While perfectly fine for a scenic drive, none of the mines along the way are accessible and most side trails have been closed to motor vehicle traffic. There's not enough there to occupy a group event schedule. A new article about Excelsior Mine Road has been added to the Misc. Thoughts and Articles section. Have a look and read. Although not suitable for this group event, I'm sure some of you would still find a day there enjoyable.
The event on Saturday. January 21, 2017 will now tour Devil Peak and Little Devil Peak which is between Goodsprings, NV and Sandy Valley, NV, but closer to Sandy Valley. The new details are in the link provided. Please, read all the announcement details as everything about the event has changed.
December 8, 2016
Just last week an announcement was made about our scheduled January 21st event. The route options were revisiting Tecopa, revisiting Goodsprings, and another cookout. And the winner is... none of them!
What we enjoy most about getting out there is the exploration and we wanted to do something new to us and the group. Our scheduled group event will be a mine tour along Excelsior Mine Road. Details are in the link. There are at least nine large mines and optional points of interest along our planned route. We do know that some of these mines are huge. We have no way of giving a return time estimate which will be dependant on how much time is dedicated to each stop.
We still have every intention of returning to Tecopa, but will only return as a small group. The group we brought with us last time was way too large to be underground. Because we plan on getting deep, expect that event to be by invitation and advanced skill only.
December 1, 2016
January 21, 2017 is now a confirmed group event day, but we have no idea where we're going yet. Some of the ideas suggested have been a return to Tecopa, revisiting the original Goodsprings, NV route, another cookout, and another surface and cabin tour.
I think it might be too soon to hold another cookout since we just completed our first. It's also a little cold for that. That event would probably have everyone huddling around a campfire and complaining about the cold. I wouldn't mind rerunning the original Goodsprings, NV route. We revisit the same sites year after year anyway and it would give anyone new the opportunity to start from the beginning.
If we revisted Tecopa, CA we would probably only visit Noonday or War Eagle, but get a little deeper. Either mine is large enough to fill a day. It's roughly 90 miles and an hour and 45 minutes away. That comes to 3 and a half hours in drive time alone. Most of our events total 4-5 hours.
To date, my favorite group event was the surface tour of South Ivanpah. Since that trip, we've found many more structures and cabins well to the north of that previous route. These are structures we've only seen on Google Earth, so we'd all visit them for the first time together.
If you would like to join us that day, please send me an email to confirm and let me know where you'd like to go. If you have any other suggestions, we can add it to the "possible" list and take a vote as the date approaches. In fact, please offer suggestions. Criteria for an event would be: public access, navigable trail without snow, stops with plenty of parking and easy entry and exit.
A new entry has been added to the Misc Articles section about Rocky Gap Road inside the Red Rock National Conservation Park. Most locals are familiar with the Scenic Loop inside the park, but many are unfamiliar with the unpaved portion where there is much more to explore. A spot along this trail was considered for the Veterans Day cookout. Maybe the next one. We'll see.
November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! The year is almost over and this begins the busiest time of the year with back to back major holidays. I don't think I've even eaten all of our Halloween candy. Thanks to all of you for keeping us company over the years. Maybe we'll see you soon. Maybe Saturday January 21, 2017.
New images have been added to the Bill Nye Mine in the Goodsprings, NV directory. There isn't anything there we haven't already seen. The weather has been nice lately and it's just where we ended up hiking. There is another mine further up the valley that we've yet to see, but the view from Google Earth doesn't show much on site.
November 17, 2016
The images from our Veterans Day Weekend cookout are now up. This event may come as a surprise to some because it was an invitation only event. There wasn't a list made of who we liked and did not. We didn't give it that much thought. The invitation process is explained in the link, so hopefully there are no hurt feelings.
November 10, 2016
New images have been added to the Oro Amigo Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. This mine has recently been made "safe" and interior access is no longer possible. There is a current round of mine closures in progress which mostly affects the mines along the I-15 corridor closest to the upcoming solar farm. This closure was not part of those closures, but in preparation of a new business venture by Vertical Aviation.
Their intention is to offer target shooting from an aerial platform. Specifically, helicopters. I'm not sure how far along they are in this project or if there will be an office on site, but it has been confirmed that this and surrounding areas fall within their active shooting range. If this site has not already been posted, expect it to be soon and access restricted by physical barrier.
I'd like to return in the future to view their progress, but in the meantime, no new interior images of this mine will become available. As far as we know, these are the only interior images available online. Do not attempt to cross their posted signs or barriers.
October 27, 2016
The Picture Rock Mine listing in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory has been updated. This site has always been a mystery to me since lots of effort went into this mine, but we have yet to locate an entry or source of the one of the largest tailing piles we've seen in the area. Other than that, the site was fairly unremarkable and very likely the most boring entry on VegasUnderworld.
That is until recently where a ghost story was introduced. I feel silly even saying that since I tend to dismiss anything of the sort as wishful thinking and simple imagination. I still don't believe, but I have to admit, it does make a great story and with Halloween just days away, the timing couldn't have been better. Happy Halloween, everyone!
October 20, 2016
New images have been added to the New Trail Mine in the Ivanpah, California directory. We were only in the area for a couple of reasons. We ran out of ideas of mines to visit and someone wanted me to grab a sample of Carnotite which is bright, lemon yellow, radioactive uranite. We've found the best samples of it around petrified wood, but it can be found all over the area. I've had some large pieces in our collection for many years before someone identified it as Carnotite. I always assumed it was Sulfur.
Now that the weather is cooler, I expect us to be out more and provide some fresh content. We have a long to-do list of places to visit and revisit, but I find we often never keep to a list or schedule. Where we go next often depends on how we feel that morning. Many times, we'll just start driving and try to remember what's on our list and in that direction. Since we've exhausted most of the local mines, I think we'll head further south into California.
October 13, 2016
New images have been added to the Eldorado Rand Mine and Honest Miner Mine galleries in the Nelson, Nevada directory. We've been to both mines many times and didn't expect anything new. Our only recent interest in this area is a possible land use dispute.
Some people in this area are confusing their rights. A mine claim does not grand the claimant exclusive access. Even if you own the land, if there is an existing trail that leads to public land, you have to honor previous access agreements. Assuming there is no alternate trail access. An argument can be made that a gate is placed for public safety and to protect equipment, but you would need to file a Plan of Operations if your cause for closure is public safety.
I also meant to add a warning to last weeks update, but forgot. If you find yourself in the Ivanpah District, be aware of your surroundings. There have been recent and confirmed sightings of mountain lions in the area. Mountain lions are ambush hunters. Be especially mindful of pets and small children. While usually timid and solitary, they can become aggressive when surprised or cornered like if you were to meet one inside a mine.
October 6, 2016
My apologies for missing another update. We missed a couple of weeks of exploring, so we had nothing of significance to report. We've been working a lot with a few veterans programs lately and it's taken up most of our free time. Climbing is a big thing for them. It keeps them active and builds their confidence.
Another thing we've been doing with them is shooting. At first, I didn't think it would be a good idea, but the interactions have been nothing but positive. At least, for them it is. Most of them are at a shooting skill level well above me and shooting around them makes me feel like I'm just wasting ammunition.
Speaking of shooting, I received yet another email from someone complaining. Thankfully, this complaint wasn't about posting coordinates or using a different term or name for a feature or mine. This person was upset that I don't shoot what he shoots. I never understood people like that. I doubt he even knows he does it. This would truly be a boring world if we all followed the same pattern. It's better to be together than alike.
I've been meaning to add a "Frequently Asked Questions" section to the site, but for whatever reason, some don't ask questions. They complain and want me to explain myself. This seems as good a time as any to introduce that section. For now, entries will be added to the "Articles and Accounts" section. The first article is titled "Why my guns are shit.". Not really, but that's the gist of it.
September 22, 2016
The early October event hosted by Joe to Striped Butte Valley has been cancelled. Apologies to those who were planning on attending. Hopefully, we can all get together again soon.
New images have been added to the Kirby Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. We've returned to that area several times in the last month for various reasons, but mostly an attempt to match a map we have of the largest Kirby Mine site to a location. We've reached the highest and most difficult sites, but have yet to match our interior map to a site. Although we didn't find what we were hoping to see, the view was well worth the effort.
September 15, 2016
New images have been added to the Esperanza Mine in the Ivanpah directory. There's not much more to say about the mine. It hasn't changed much since our last visit. Our original plan for Labor Day was to take us further and beyond Ivanpah, but traffic along I-15 was less than jogging speed, so we just winged it and ended up nowhere near our intended destination.
Sorry I haven't had much to say lately. The summer heat, scheduling, and health issues have kept me less active. With the weather turning nicely, we'll hopefully have some new adventures to share.
I have some old wood I'd like to repurpose for a dining room table, but the boards appear to have a slight twist to them. Does anyone have or have access to a wood planer I can run a few boards through?
September 8, 2016
Sorry I skipped last weeks update. I haven't been feeling 100% and have been trying to limit my time spent on the computer. I didn't have much to say anyway.
Earlier this year, we reported that another round of mine closures has begun in this area. The first closed mine noticed was the Crystal Pass Mine in Goodsprings which faces I-15. All images we held in reserve for that mine have been released. We were just recently notified that the nearby Alice Mine and Pilgrim Mines have also been sealed. Any images we held in reserve for those mines have also been released. No new images for any of these sealed mines will become available. As far as we know, the images on this site are the only interior images of the mines available online.
Alice Mine was part of the original mine closures in the 1990's and was sealed with the bat gate method. This is something we've discussed here a few times. I would prefer that our local history be preserved and the mines left as is, but if a mine has to be sealed, our preferred method is with bat gates. The process is more time consuming, difficult, and costlier but bat gates do allow local wildlife easy access. Other methods, such as expansion foam and back-filling are faster and cheaper, but allow no access for wildlife. Additionally, such methods effectively delete our local history.
If you find a mine sealed with bat gates, do not alter or remove the barrier. Those making the decisions to close these mines are given a budget. If they find the costlier bat gates being defeated, it might make more sense to someone working within a budget to spend less money to absolutely seal a mine with expansion foam or back-fill.
On October 1st and 2nd, Joe will be hosting an overnight trip to Striped Butte Valley, California. I've never been to the area, but I've been researching as soon as I heard about the trip. Joe only confirmed a few areas of stopping interest, but from what I've researched there will be many optional stops on your way in and out. Details about the event are in the link.
August 25, 2016
The images from our weekend trip to Wheeler's Pass are now up. The trail was much worse than I remembered it to be. It looks like much of the trail on the Cold Creek side was also a wash. I only remembered about 300 yards of bad trail, but it's now more like 3 miles. Other than exploding one of my shocks, we all made it through just fine.
We may try something different with future event notifications. We try to plan events to the point where the day appears seamless and everyone can just enjoy the ride and not worry about what's ahead. There is a lot of planning involved. We'll often pre-run routes, repairing trails and cleaning mine sites. We have to plan these routes by attendee estimates. The number of vehicles determines the route and the number of people determines the stops and mines visited.
For a simple trail run, numbers aren't that important, but this group is more about the history and exploration. Numbers do matter and we often don't know how many will show up until we see who shows up. Sending me an email only takes a few seconds. I'd hate to go to an invitation only system because we'll eventually forget someone, but we do need to do something to get a better understanding of numbers.
I think it will be much cooler before the next trip and this next one is looking like one you won't want to miss. Details to follow.
August 11, 2016
Don't forget we have a trail run scheduled for next weekend on the 20th. There will be a few rough patches of trail, but nothing technical. Most high clearance vehicles should be able to complete the trail in 2WD. Still, it's a long and remote trail and it would be best to enjoy it among the safety of others.
New images have been added to the Ninety Nine Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. My goal of the day was to find some good climbing walls. I know there are some good vertical walls on the west side of Potosi Mountain and was hoping to find something similar and easier to access. Still didn't find a good wall, but it was a great day to be out.
Way back on December 13, 2014 we held our first group event. Earlier this year, we were forced to completely redesign the site. I thought I was fairly consistent with site backups, which was not nearly as accurate as I thought. Many site galleries and features were lost during that transition. One of the galleries affected was that first group meeting.
When I began to rebuild the site I found the folder for that gallery only contained about 15 images. After recently sorting through one of many backup hard drives, I found the folder with all the images from that day. The new image gallery has doubled. Because I selected images from the previous folder, many will look familiar, but I know quite a few images will be new to everyone.
August 4, 2016
Our next event has been scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2016. To avoid this heat and because we've run out of ideas, this event will be strictly a trail run and entirely above ground. The trail destination is Wheeler's Pass. A scenic route connecting Cold Creek, NV to Pahrump, NV. Click through for event details.
I recently acquired some new climbing gear. The Black Diamond NForce ascenders. Those familiar with climbing equipment will know these are not new, but a discontinued item. However, they are new to me and a redesign of a tool many believe to be unimprovable. Since they've been discontinued, you can guess what most thought of the product. Still, it was an attempt to make improvements and I wanted to share my opinions on the Petzl Ascension vs. Black Diamond NForce.
July 28, 2016
Because of the heat, we've been trying to limit ourselves to trails or mines that require little to no hiking to reach. We did spend a few hours in South Ivanpah, but since it's part of the National Preserve, everything was sealed. On our way back, we stopped at the Christmas Mine to check the canyon for good climbing walls. New images have been added to that gallery. We may have found some good training walls, but we'll need to drill and set some anchors.
A few times we've been in that area we've come across people in nearby washes and hill sides. We usually spot them before they spot us. When seen, they make attempts to hide. At that time, we used to use CB radio for communications. After they hid, our CB scanner would become active with people communicating in Spanish. That deep in a valley and with the limited range of CB radio, they had to be very close and were likely the people in the hills trying to hide. We're not sure what was happening. Maybe it was nothing, but be more alert when in the area.
July 21, 2016
New images have been added to the Paradise Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory. Our intention was to return to this mine to review mineralization and check a piece of equipment in the area. We ended up meeting some guys there for some rope practice. Rope training in a mine isn't the safest but, other than the snake we encountered mid-rappel, we knew there weren't any obvious hazards. This seems to be a busy year for us with snakes.
I've been working on the Advanced Equipment Chapter 4 section which covers ascending devices, so the timing was near perfect. While I was in a writing mood, I went ahead and rewrote the previous Advanced Equipment Chapter 3 section on rappelling devices. If you plan on expanding your exploration skill set, I'm hoping you'll find that information useful.
July 14, 2016
New Images have been added to the Lucy Gray Mine gallery in the Nipton, California directory. It's been a while since we've been there and it looks about the same, but the trail conditions are much worse. The recent heavy rains have washed away old trails and created new ones. According to our GPS, the trail/wash shifted as much as 30 yards in some places. Finding our way there was fairly easy. Finding our way out was more difficult since the washes branched many times and the river rock made it difficult to follow our tracks.
We've been wanting to schedule another event, but we've run out of ideas. If you have any ideas or would like to host and lead an event, please let me know.
July 7, 2016
Last week, I made a very short announcement for an Independence Day event. By short notice, I mean I posted it up the night before. Luckily, hardly anyone noticed the announcement and it was just Russ and I. Anyone that's been on one of these events already knows Russ. The plan was to run Lovell Canyon beginning from the West and working our way East. That would be 32 miles to the trail head and 28 miles of trail.
We just began the trail and were a few miles off road and noticed our AC wasn't working. We open the hood and see the AC compressor was throwing clutch material everywhere. I was sure it would be fine if I just left the AC off, but didn't want to take chances. My fear was that the whole compressor would seize. Unless I tied a knot in the serpentine belt, there was no way to bypass it. That ended our day early. Just under $700 later and it's ready for another trail. Tip of the day: If you smell something burning, don't ignore it.
Those that have been with the site for a while know that I keep a reserve of images just for times like that. Most times when you see an update, it's accurate to within a few days, but sometimes we have mechanical troubles, scheduling conflicts, or we just don't feel like getting out. In the past, I think this delay may have hurt some feelings when someone asked to join us. They see the update and think we just went without them. When we go out, it's almost always a last minute thing. We know we want to go somewhere, but we rarely make plans. Sometimes we just start driving until we feel like stopping.
Keeping all that in mind, new images have been added to the Evening Star Mine in the Ivanpah, California directory. We weren't there this week, but I did have some interior images of the mine most have never seen.
June 30, 2016
A few new images were added to the Argentina Mine Mill gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory. Mostly, I updated the mine description to detail accounts of an accident that occurred within the Argentina Mine complex.
Also, for those who continue to send me emails about the correct spelling of "Argentena" as it relates to this mine, I know. For whatever reason, this mine was registered as the "Argentena Mine". The error in spelling may have meant something else to the original mine owner or he may have been a bad speller. Seeing something misspelled annoys me, so both spellings are used in the header descriptions.
June 23, 2016
As I've mentioned in the last few updates, we've been collecting samples in the area for a mining exploration company. Since their samples weren't very promising, I can give a little more information. The company was looking for rare earth elements. Specifically, rare earth elements from clay to prove new processing techniques in their demonstration plant.
They did find what they were seeking, but not in the concentrations needed to make mining feasible. However, their analysis reports did show some nice gold is still in these mountains. If you enjoy gold prospecting, you'll have fun. If you hope to make a living or even pay for your prospecting and processing equipment, you're not going to have fun. What we have around here is a very fine micro or flour gold. It would take a lot of effort and yards to pull just a few grams.
New images have been added to the Whale Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, Nevada directory which was on our list of mines to sample. We've been in many mines in and around the area. So many that we couldn't think of specific mines with clay deposits. We didn't make the connection until we've visited a few mines, that almost all mines we've explored with clay also had high levels of humidity. Remembering humid mines in the desert was much easier and we quickly had a list going.
Over the years, I've lost and loaned out plenty of our climbing gear. We have an excess of equipment, but each piece that we loan goes out with at least one or two carabiners which are always in short supply. I know the lost is never coming back, but I'm hoping some of the borrowed will come home. If I've loaned you some of our equipment, would you mind returning it, please? Especially if you have any of my carabiners.
June 16, 2016
Now that we're steadily into the 90's and triple digits, we may not be out as much as we used to be. It's not only uncomfortable, the heat can be deadly. A few years ago, we came across a man stranded in the desert who was close to losing his life from heat and dehydration. Hopefully, his story can relate the seriousness of a situation any one of us could experience.
If only the man had a rope rappelling device. Not really. It wouldn't have changed his situation one bit. I couldn't think of a way to transition from near death to rappelling gear. New information about Rope Rappelling Devices has been added to the Equipment and Communications section.
June 9, 2016
We were thinking of coordinating an Independence Day BBQ, but the more we thought about it, the less we wanted to apply the effort. If anyone else wants to arrange or host such an event, let me know and I'll post up whatever details you'd like. In fact, if anyone is ever headed out and wants to invite others, let me know and I'll make an announcement. You don't have to wait for a site organized event.
This Independence Day, I'm sure we'll be out on a mountain or under one, but we have nothing organized or planned. It will probably be one of those days where we just drive until we find something or attempt to cross a few mines off of our growing to-do list.
New images have been added to the Hoodoo Mine gallery in the Goodsprings, NV directory. I've been all over the area the past couple of weeks collecting samples for a mining exploration company. There were rare earth elements in the samples collected. Unfortunately, not in the concentrations or amounts that would have made a profitable recovery. Still, I would have been out there anyway, I enjoyed the work, and I was able to gain some useful information from their assay reports.
June 2, 2016
Sorry I missed the weekly update. We were in the middle of our vacation and wanted to fit as much as we could into it. We only took a week off, but aside from getting caught up on the usual things people do on vacation, we did get a solid four days of mine exploration.
In those four days, I managed to nearly kill us both with sulfur monoxide in a mine and step on the head of a rattlesnake just as I was about to give my rattlesnake safety lecture to new mine explorers. That was really embarrassing. That's now the second time I've accidentally stepped on a rattlesnake. Not sure if I'm lucky or unlucky. I'll write more about those adventures soon.
The "Mine Safety and Waivers" section has been moved to the top links. That old section is still live, but will soon be replaced with an "Articles" section that will contain pages that would normally be lost in the clutter of the "Site News and Updates .
The new pictures from the Memorial Day event are now up. I had specific conversations with several people during that trip. I remember a few wanted me to email them information we discussed in those conversations. My memory is worse these days, so if we had one of those conversations, please send me a reminder and I'll get that information out soon.
May 12, 2016
We have a destination arranged for our scheduled Memorial Day trip. We've exhausted most of the local, larger mines I would be comfortable bringing a large group into, so we're headed a little further out of town to Nelson, Nevada. The accessible mines in the area aren't as deep as the ones closest to us, but we're mapping out a route that will offer some nice scenery, trails, and underground exploration.
Also note: the original meeting spot for this event was the Jack in the Box on Gibson Street. It has been changed to our usual Burger King on St. Rose Parkway. The event details have been updated to reflect those changes. Most of us seem to live in that area or along the way. We were also on Gibson Street recently and thought the traffic in the area might make it easier for us to get separated.
We have nothing planned or scheduled beyond our Memorial Day event. Honestly, we're running out of ideas and we're about to hit triple digits. Hiking and climbing will soon be uncomfortable and unsafe for some. I know some of us enjoy the trail and since Summer is almost here, we were thinking the next scheduled event might be a trail run. Maybe throw in a potluck picnic somewhere along the way. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, please send them.
Images from our May 7th event are now up. They turned out great! This event explored the upper levels of Azurite Mine in Goodsprings, Nevada. Some in this group were under time restraints, so we only were able to explore the one mine, but it was a multi-level mine and the timing was just about right. Because the event was scheduled just days before, we didn't really have much planned, so my apologies for that. We have enough time before the next scheduled event to plan a proper outing. Hope to see you there.
May 5, 2016
In case you missed the short notice announcement, we have a scheduled field trip this Saturday . Because of the short notice, we're not expecting a big group which has often made previous trips more personal and enjoyable. This event will begin and feature Azurite Mine in Goodsprings, NV. Please, review the mine safety and waivers in advance.
May 3, 2016
Sorry for the short announcement, but we have a trip scheduled for this weekend to Goodsprings. The feature mine will be Azurite Mine, but may include others. Time permitting. Event details are here.
April 28, 2016
Advanced Exploration Gear
I used to avoid detailing the type of climbing gear we used because I didn't want to encourage others from attempting to get into places they shouldn't. My views on this have evolved after meeting more of you. I still think some people have no business being anywhere near an open mine. Where my views have changed is feeling responsible for what others do. You're all adults and will make your own decisions. Natural selection was here long before me , so you folks do what you want.
As mentioned in last weeks update, the newest updates will focus on equipment. Last weeks update went over some of the basics. This week, we'll move on to equipment required for more advanced exploration starting with rope, which is the most basic piece of your advanced equipment kit. In future chapters, I'll go over other pieces to get you up and down your rope.
Something completely off topic here. I wanted to go over something since nobody in this town seems to understand them. 4-way stop signs. It's really not that difficult. It's really just waiting in line. This is always a line with just four people in it and you go in the order you arrive in this line. If two vehicles stop at or nearly the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way.
If you're one of those people that waves others through out of turn, stop doing that. This isn't like holding a door open for someone. You're not being courteous. You're letting someone else skip in line. Seriously people...it shouldn't be this difficult. You can count to four.
April 21, 2016
Sorry it took me so long to update the site. After being forced to rebuild it, I was really in no mood to get right back into it. Something good did come from the rebuild. I was able to streamline the site so everything will load faster. Since I had to start all over, it made no sense for me to re-upload the images without size reductions, so images are smaller, but you won't really notice unless you're downloading images.
One of the things I want to focus on with the new site is reviewing equipment and gear. We go through a lot of gear. Some of it is great. Most of it is junk. I'll adhere to the "squeaky wheel" concept, so you'll probably hear me complaining often, but we're happy with most of our gear so I'll try to offer some balance. Occasionally, we're asked to review products. In almost all instances, we purchase our own gear. If any products are provided in exchange for reviews, we'll always let you know. Hopefully, our reviews will help you save some time and money.
I've already began building the equipment section, starting with the very basics which include: helmet, gloves, and lighting. I'll likely expand on those and create specific reviews for the various pieces. I'm already working on an overview of more advanced exploration gear which will give a brief outline of some of the climbing gear we use.
I know it's our common interest in history and mining that brought most of us together, but it's certainly not what defines us. Occasionally, I'm going to use this update section to discuss other topics. Sometimes, it'll be related to the site topics, but I suspect I'll get off topic often. Just keep that in mind when I talk about nothing.
April 7, 2016
Welcome to the new VegasUnderworld.com!
For those who haven't been following along, our site host decided to no longer support some of the old software and required us to move to their newer versions. This site has been around since 2012 and I've only missed the weekly updates a few times. So, rebuilding almost 5 years of content in a few weeks was a huge task.
As you look around the site, you'll see this was a complete rebuild and redesign of the site. Everything had to be copied or rewritten and each of the several thousand images had to be re-uploaded as if the site never existed. During this process, I learned that I wasn't as good about creating backups as I thought I was. A lot of effort has gone into research over the years and much of the content is forever gone which includes the weekly updates since 2012. So much is now missing that I will not be rebuilding some portions of the old site.
What was most important to me was saving all the images and mine content, which I believe I was able to preserve. I've always considered this site more as a resource. Meaning, nobody is coming here specifically to read what I have to say. I think most probably come here looking for mine pictures and locations, using the site as a tool to better plan your trips and I'm fine with that.
I'll readily admit, my knowledge of mining, minerals, and history is elementary at best and I didn't want to just spout off information I found somewhere else. Those of you I've met were history enthusiasts and Google works at your house too, so I'd probably be repeating the same shared facts anyway. If anyone here does actually read what I have to say each week, you'll probably notice that I present each mine account by what I observed and rarely provide historical information.
We do our best to present the mines as we see them and without the clutter of our climbing gear, vehicle in the way, or posing as if we're sharing boring vacation photos. I doubt my presentation will change, but the frequency might. I don't think I can keep up the pace of weekly updates. Rather than updating just for the sake of updating, I'll probably just update when I have something interesting to add. This may still be weekly, but don't count on it.
Most of this redesign was done behind the scenes. At least, that was the plan. Some of the links may not work as I rebuild the site navigation, but it's a slow process. Some of the rebuild has to be completed live. Something else that I felt the old site needed badly was a mobile site. This new site will automatically detect how you are viewing and optimize it depending on your mobile device, so don't be surprised if the site appears to be a little light on your phone.
I know there are some spacing and broken link issues. Some pages may refer to parts of the old site that no longer exist. I'll sort those problems out as I find them. Since it probably looked like the site just switched from old to new, the effort involved will probably go unnoticed, but you'll just have to trust me that it was a huge pain in the ass to rebuild the site. That being said, consider me on vacation for a while.
News and Updates
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The most complete guide to Southern Nevada's mining history.